Early Indians a book byTony Joseph

Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From

“If you want to get as close as possible to the lives of the first modern humans in India, one of the best places to go to is Bhimbetka in MP’s Raisen district, about 45 kilometre from Bhopal. It is an enchanting place spread over seven hill and full of naturally occurring rock shelters that are perhaps more imposing and majestic than most man-made residences of 21st Century.”

Why I picked this Book?

History always fascinated me and I wanted to know more about the history of Indians, where we came from? Who were the original inhabitants of Indian subcontinent? What is Aryan migration theory? Which was the first Indian civilizations? Are we Indians a pure race as claimed by Indian right wing? And more such questions. This book supposed to answer these questions with the latest scientific DNA research along with archaeological and linguistic evidences. So the urge to know more about the subject made me pick this book.

The Book

Early Indians : The Story of Our Ancestors and Where we Came From, tells us the story that goes back to 65000 years into the past. The author starts from the time when the first modern human (Homo sapiens) reached India from Africa, then talks about the first farmers of India, first Civilization of India, the various migrants which came to India and assimilated with the early Indians and the last of the migrants, the Aryans.

The author explains the population structure of today’s India with an example of Pizza. The first Indians (out of Africa migration) forming the base of the pizza. The Harappans, born from a marriage with Iranian immigrants, became the sauce on the pizza. Then came the cheese and all the toppings: the Aryans, the Tibeto-Burmese, and the Austro-Asiatic language speakers. And it is together that they have created what we today define as Indian culture, and Indian identity.”

In order to make his point the author gives you details about the latest DNA research and this might get overwhelming if you have no understanding of DNA and its structuring. Rest of the book is written very well and is easy to understand. It gives you the idea about the composition of Indian population, the various migration that shaped up today’s India. Along with the latest DNA study, the author provides various papers and articles to substantiate his point about the formation of Indian population as we stand today.

According to the author the best way we can define ourselves is as a multi-source civilization, not a single source one, drawing its cultural impulses, its traditions and its practices from a variety of heredities and migration histories. The Out of Africa migrants, who came to India around 65000 years ago, those who arrived from West Asia and contributed to agricultural revolution and building of Harappan Civilization, those who came from east Asia bringing with them new languages and plants and farming techniques and those who migrated here from central Asia, bringing the earlier version of the great language Sanskrit. All have mingled and contributed to this civilization we call Indian. We are all Indians. And we are all migrants.

Writing Style and Ease of Readability

A very well written book explaining the details in a very simple and easy way.  The book keeps you hooked and in anticipation of how things will shape up from here. A chapter on the latest  DNA findings was overwhelming for me and I have to read it twice to understand it. Rest of the book is interesting and easy to read. 

About the Author

Tony Joseph is an Indian journalist and former editor of Businessworld magazine. Until 2018, he was also the chairman and co-founder of Mindworks Global Media Services.He is based in New Delhi.Joseph has been an editor and a journalist for over three decades and was, at various times, features editor of The Economic Times, associate editor of Business Standard and editor of Businessworld magazine (from 1998). His articles have appeared in Outlook India, Quartz, Live Mint and The Hindu.


Our Verdict

A must read for all, especially for those who are interested in knowing more about the history and composition of Indian Civilization.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *